Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Social Transition and Democratisation in the Baltic Sea Region


Ämne: Statsvetenskap
Projektledare: Elfar Loftsson
Startår: 1999

The main purpose of this project has been to analyse differences and similarities in democratisation processes, including various models of political representation and participation, in the Baltic Sea region. In particular, this project was aimed at collecting empirical data and construction theoretical models for comparisons between democratisation processes in the Baltic States, in Poland, and in Moldova. The most important aspects were value changes, the role of the administration of elections in the consolidation of a democratic, political system, and regional environmental cooperation.

Within these three areas, the goals set up have been achieved. The main, tangible outcomes have been one research monograph, one research anthology, one Ph D thesis, and a number of scientific articles.

The most important, and to some extent unexpected, expansion in this project has taken place within research on environmental policy and attitudes. This research project has provided important input into the Master’s program Environment and Development (“Miljö och Utveckling”), as well as into the Coastal Management Research Centre (COMREC). Another important outcome of this project has been an intensified cooperation between social and natural scientists at Södertörn, and with the Department of Systems Ecology at the University of Stockholm. This cooperation over disciplinary boundaries has been possible to obtain because of the considerable multi-disciplinary experience of all project members, and despite the fact that they all have political science as their main discipline.

Finally, a valuable survey database – The Baltic Barometer – has been established within the project. This database has been made available also to researchers at Södertörn not being project members. This database consists of data from surveys undertaken in 1999 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), in 2001 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland), and in 2002 (Moldova). These data sets provide opportunities for making time series analyses, which is very important when researching especially countries in transition, such as the former socialist republics. Further information on the Baltic Barometer can be found at http://www.sh.se/transition, where data sets also can be downloaded.